Monday, 30 November 2009

Free Windows System Software

During lifetime of my work with computers I collected a number of software tools. Keeping a downloaded copy of these programs is really a waste of space. Software quickly get outdated as new version released, so Windows Software Toolbox is a collection of links to websites where latest versions of applications can be downloaded. This list will be updated as I add/remove tools from my toolbox.


TaskSwitchXP - is an advanced task management utility that picks up where the standard Windows Alt+Tab switcher leaves off.

TrueCrypt - Free open-source disk encryption software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Java Runtime - Download Java for your desktop computer now!

Quicksys RegDefrag - (Freeware) Defrag, Optimise and Compact Windows Registry.

Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP - (Freeware) are additional programs that developers work on after a product has been released.

7-Zip - (Freeware) is a file archiver with a high compression ratio.

SVS Client Personal - (Freeware) is an Altiris Software Virtualization Solution Personal Edition. Allows to run applications in isolated environment.

DAEMON Tools Lite - (Freeware) is a virtual cd/dvd-rom emulator.

Notepad++ - is a generic source code editor (it tries to be anyway) and Notepad replacement written in C++ with the win32 API.

Glary Utilities - free, powerful and all-in-one utility featuring
  • Disk Cleaner
  • Registry Cleaner
  • Shortcut Fixer
  • Uninstall Manager
  • Start-up Manager
  • Memory Optimizer
  • Context Menu Manager
  • Tracks Eraser
  • File Shredder
  • File Undelete
  • File Encryption and Decryption
  • Disk Analyzer
  • Duplicate Files Finder
  • Empty Folders Finder
  • File Splitter Joiner
  • Process Manager
  • Internet Explorer Assistant
  • Windows Standard Tools

FreeCommander - (Freeware) is an easy-to-use alternative to the standard windows file manager

WinCalendarTime - replaces the standard Windows clock with an enhanced clock, if you click on it a calendar is displayed.

SmartDefrag - is a powerful and free Diskeeper® alternative.

GMail Drive - (Freeware) is a Shell Namespace Extension that creates a virtual file system around your Google Mail account, allowing you to use Gmail as a storage medium.

EnvMan - Environment Variables Manager (EnvMan) is a tool written in C# .Net intended to handle the administration of Windows Shell Environment Variables. It is designed to replace Control Panel System Environment Manager and easily manage long variable values.

Sysinternals Suite - The Sysinternals Troubleshooting Utilities have been rolled up into a single Suite of tools.

PDF-XChange Viewer - is smaller, faster and more feature rich than the Adobe Reader. Portable version is also available.

Firefox Web Browser - award-winning Web browser. See my Top used Firefox Add-ons.

kbdru_ZH - Русская фонетическая клавиатура (Russian Phonetic Keyboard) - Instructions for Windows and Internet in Russian.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 - Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers. Get this one for free from Microsoft if you need to install on multiple computers.

Everything - is a Windows search engine, Locate files and folders by name instantly.

CClearner - (Freeware) system optimisation and privacy tool.

Blogger Backup Utility - (Freeware) utility to backup to local disk your Blogger posts.

Windows Defender - Spyware Protection for Free.

Avast! 4 Home Edition - is a full-featured Antivirus and Anti-Spyware package. Requires Free Registration.

Malwarebytes - an easy-to-use, simple, and effective anti-malware application.

Revo Uninstaller - innovative freeware uninstall utility. Uninstall, delete, remove programs and solve uninstalling problems.

KeePass Password Safe - the free, open-source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager.

SyncToy - helps you copy, move, rename, and delete files between folders and computers quickly and easily.

TeraCopy - is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed.

Sandboxie - creates virtual space to run program in.

HashTab - is a Windows shell extension which adds a tab called "File Hashes" to the Windows Explorer file properties. The tab contains the MD5, SHA1 and CRC-32 file hashes.

Macrium Reflect - is a fastest disk imaging software.

nCleaner - contains an advanced system and application cleaner with over 90 cleaning items available

WSCC - is a free, portable program that allows you to view, execute and organize the utilities from various system utility suites.

PDF Creator - is a free tool to create PDF files from nearly any Windows application.

EASEUS Partition Manager - is a Partition Magic alternative, a FREE comprehensive hard disk partition management software.

Toonel - compress all the data traffic transferred to and from our machine and minimise the use of the bandwidth.

Free ISO Creator - easily create ISO image from any files and folders (with the subfolders).

Unlocker - kill processes that prevent a file to be deleted.

HijackThis – TrendMicro HijackThis™ is a free utility which quickly scans your Windows computer to find settings that may have been changed by spyware, malware or other unwanted programs. HijackThis™ creates a report, or log file, with the results of the scan.

Software Updates Checkers Update Checker - will scan your computer for installed software, check the versions and then send this information to to see if there are any newer releases.These are then neatly displayed in your browser for you to download.

Secunia (PSI) - Personal Software Inspector.

DriverMax - a free tool to backup, restore, update Windows XP or Vista system drivers.


GMer - is an application that detects and removes  rootkits.

Trend Micro RootkitBuster - is a rootkit scanner that scans hidden files, registry entries, processes, drivers, and Master Boot Record (MBR) rootkits.


Below are the references to other web resources.

Temporarily turn off Windows Update restart nags using Leave Me Alone! - Download Squad

Utilizing Windows Search 4.0 (Part 1) -

Nirsoft Freeware Tools and Utilities for Windows

Free CD/DVD File Recovery Tool - CD Recovery Toolbox -

24 Great Open Source Apps for Admins & Technicians - Download Squad

50 Tools to Speed Up or Otherwise Enhance Your PC – CIO.COM

37 Essential Windows Utilities

100+ Download Sites – Daily Blog Tips

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Joomla! Installing XAMPP on Vista

Currently I am working on installing Joomla! content management system and as a first step it requires to install XAMPP package. After some time of tweaking I finally managed to install and run XAMPP package on Vista. XAMPP installation completed fine and basic configuration steps made no problems. All services except Apache started.


Turned out that service was unable to start, because Apache process had no access to “C:\Program Files\xampp” directory. I decided to give SYSTEM account access to it and run Apache, MySql and FileZilla as windows services. To give access to SYSTEM account open properties of the directory and Security Tab.


Check that it has full access rights assigned. If not, use Edit button to assign access rights.

After trying to start Apache service again it still was failing to start. Apache log in C:\Program Files\xampp\apache\logs\error.log showed the following error.

“(OS 10013)An attempt was made to access a socket in a way forbidden by its access permissions.  : make_sock: could not bind to address [::]:80”

This error happens when some process already uses port 80. My solution was to change “C:\Program Files\xampp\apache\conf\httpd.conf” file and set port to something else like 8080 or any other number. Edit lines “Listen 80” and “ServerName localhost:80” to be  “Listen 8080” and “ServerName localhost:8080”. Start Apache service. Success!

The next step will be to install Joomla! I will publish another post if there will be problems that required solution during install.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

ASP.NET Grid View Hidden Column Binding Problem

When I was using Grid View in my Web Application I run into problem where hidden column would not bind data. After searching I found a simple solution to this problem. Let’s have a look at example. We have a table called Person with columns ID, FirstName, Surname. In our page we want to show only FirstName and Surname columns and have ID column loaded but hidden.

For a Grid View component create RowCreated event handler with the code:

protected void GvRowCreated(object sender, GridViewRowEventArgs e)
    // Hide ID Column
    e.Row.Cells[0].Visible = false;

The code above will hide all cells in column Cells[0], which is ID column. If Grid View has paging enabled we need to check e.Row.RowType == DataControlRowType.DataRow to hide only Cells that contain data.

Monday, 6 July 2009

CSS References and Tools

Every web designer and developer knows how powerful Cascading Style Sheets are and how much they can save in HTML coding.

I put together several links to CSS tutorials, samples and Internet resources.

CSS Books

CSS Tutorials

CSS Templates and Samples

Web Designer Tools

  • Rounded Graphics for CSS Box Corners - Cornershop


Friday, 3 July 2009

How to get Virtually unlimited online backup storage with Live Mesh

As you may already know Live Mesh Online Storage currently offers 5GB of online storage. This amount of data is enough if you are backing up documents as DOCs or plain text files, but if you want to store music, photos, large multimedia files, storing them into one account will quickly add-up to the limit. To expand this 5GB limitation we will use an excellent sharing functionality of Live Mesh.

Lets looks at the example. We want to setup backup for our Photos, Music, Documents. We will need to create a separate live or hotmail accounts for each of them, say,, and All these accounts will need to link with main account say


After creating my_docs account login into using it and connect to Live Desktop.

DocsLiveMesh1 DocsLiveMesh2

Double click on ‘Create new folder’ Icon and enter ‘Documents’ in the name field.

DocsLiveMesh3 DocsLiveMesh4

Once folder is created double click it to open it and click Members and then Invite to enter address of your main account.


After clicking OK Email will be sent to account which will have a link to accept an invitation. After that ‘Documents’ folder will be linked to your main mesh account and will be visible in the list of folders.

These steps need to be repeated for photos and music and add virtually unlimited number of folders.